Seems four hours was enough for me today. I’m not in any major rush.

My back-on-Thursday idea is clearly not going to work. At this rate it’s gonna take an additional week. At some point I’ll have to put in a bigger day.

I was thinking I’d like to stay at Old Man Hut, one of my favourites, so today might be a decent day.

I stop for lunch after a big, 800 m, climb out of the Wairoa Valley and was just about to leave when a German woman happened along, and she was so happy and enthusiastic I ended up talking to her for more than an hour.

That’s an issue, I chat excessively.

Then again I liked the look Tarn Hut, not many stay here, always wanting to get to, or from, Rintoul Hut. The fact this hut is off the main track also helps it not collect people.

Big thing of the day: seeing two parakeets/kakariki. Halfway up the ridge I saw something flitting, so I stopped, and eventually one bird popped down from the canopy to have a look at me. There was at least one more around, I could see that high above.

Also a battle between a large spider and a wasp. There was one spider and many wasps in the area, so I can guess how that ends.

A warm, initially cloudless day. Not much else to report.

Oh, I was thinking of this enthusiasm for filtering water by the foreigners. That me reminds me of the Chinese or Japanese wearing surgical masks in their own country. It wouldn’t be appropriate to wear a mask here where the air is about as pure as anywhere on earth. Similarly the water. Our flowing water around here has to be more pristine than anything coming out of a European or American tap, and probably tastes better.

The real issue is with washing hands after visiting the communal toilet. That’s where problematic contamination is.

I just have always drunk the water from any flowing stream, which means I don’t carry any most days.

The tarn here at Tarn Hut has plenty of tadpoles so I guess the water can’t be too bad. I watch the local weka stand in the water attempting to peck at the tadpoles, which tend to move just beyond pecking radius.

Eventually the two Frenchmen from a couple of nights ago turned up and were surprised to see me. And two French women who set up their tent. The women were more my age, 40s, and we had a good talk about life in New Zealand, etc, but it was early to bed.

An early start needed in the morning because I would be tackling the two Mt Rintouls.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Tarn Hut

Tarn Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park
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